Enhanced with the exotic spice blends of Indian cuisine, these specialty food products — from simmer sauces to snacks — bring exceptional flavors to the table. From quick weeknight dinners to gift-giving and entertaining, there's an Indian-inspired specialty food product that fits the bill.
Delicious, complexly-spiced sauces are a hallmark of Indian cuisine. But they can be labor-intensive, and without a panty full of specialty spices, making them at home can be daunting. Enter high-quality, pantry-stable simmer sauces that make it easy to put a great Indian-inspired meal on the table quickly. Seeds of Change offers a nicely-spiced organic and kosher line that ranges from mild to hot. The coconut milk and bell pepper-accented Jalfrezi is especially good. Maya Kaimal, known for small-batch refrigerated sauces, now offers shelf-stable ones, including classic Tikka Masala. And Stonehouse 27 melds Portugese and British Indian culinary influences with sauces like Dates & Tamarind and Cashews & Cream. Price: $4.49 to $6.49.
2. Dave's Gourmet Masala Marinara Sauce
If you're looking for a departure from traditional Italian pasta sauces, check out this Indian fusion riff from Dave's Gourmet. Winner of the 2010 sofi™ Gold Award for Outstanding Pasta Sauce, Masala Marinara is enhanced with coconut milk, lime, and curry spices. Gluten Free. Available online at Dave's Gourmet. Price: $7.99.
3. Dulcet Cuisine Mild Indian Curry Ketchup
Condiments can be great foils for Indian spices — and it's fun to switch up old reliables like ketchup with unexpected flavors. Dulcet Cuisine's Mild Indian Curry Ketchup lends a litttle gourmet flair to barbecue fare; it's a great dipping sauce for grilled shrimp or fried zucchini, too. Winner of the 2010 sofi™ Gold Award for Outstanding Condiment. Gluten Free. Preservative Free. GMO-free. Price: $6.
Popped in small-batches in copper kettles, artisanal 479° Popcorn comes in a range of cosmopolitan flavors. Madras Curry Coconut & Cashews features a Madras curry spice blend that's freshly ground and hand-blended each week. The mix of organic chiles, paprika and turmeric is complemented by toasted organic coconut and roasted whole cashews. 479° popcorn is made with locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible; spices (which necessarily hail from more exotic locales) come from sources committed to sustainability and fair trade practices. 479° makes each batch as orders come in, so the popcorn is ultra-fresh when it arrives at your doorstep. The Curry Coconut flavor is Vegan. Price: $35, as part of a five box, multi-flavor sampler.
5. Dagoba Chai Drinking Chocolate
India's traditional Masala Chai has gained a firm foothold in American coffeehouses. Now, the spiced tea serves as inspiration for Dagoba's Chai Drinking Chocolate, a rich concoction of cocoa, dark chocolate, and chai spices. Warm and gingery, with cardamom and star-anise notes, this is the perfect quaff to cozy up with on a snowy day. Or, blend it into a milkshake for a spicy summer treat. Organic. Fair Trade Certified. KSA-Dairy Kosher. Price: $11.95/12 oz.
6. Shopping Resources
- Seeds of Change Simmer Sauces: $4.49/12 oz. At Whole Foods, stores nationwide, or online at Vitacost.com or Shoporganic.com.
- Maya Kaimal Simmer Sauces: $5.99/12.5oz. At Whole Foods, or online at amazon.com.
- Stonehouse 27 Simmer Sauces: $6.49/12 oz. At Whole Foods, Fresh market, and online at Stonehouse 27.com.
- Dave's Gourmet Masala Marinara: $7.99/25.5 oz. Buy online at davesgourmet.com.
- Dulcet Cuisine Mild Indian Curry Ketchup: $6/14 oz. At Whole Foods, some Pier 1 Imports, or online at dulcetcuisine.com.
- 479° Popcorn, Madras Curry Coconut & Cashews: $35, as part of a 5-flavor sampler. At specialty shops, or online at 479popcorn.com and Foodzie.com.
- Dagoba Chai Organic Drinking Chocolate: $11.95/12 oz. Buy online at dagobachocolate.com.